Just because the ole' blog is silent does not mean the hammers haven't been swingin' around Casa de Tarleton. Oh, no. Since the fall we have added a fireplace, added a bathroom, created a family room where there was not one before, painted diamonds on the walls and stripes on the floors, started a bang-up little library/music room, and dreamed up a thousand more changes to come.
I just really stink at taking pictures. And then I have nothing pretty to show you and you have to listen to me ramble in the dark, and who wants to do that?
So here is a little story-- with photos-- I like to call How Half Our Party Became Ill at Dinner on New Year's Eve And I Got a New Fireplace Because of It.
Here is an old shot of our living room-- I hated, hated, HATED this cabinet. Several owners back there was a fellow who fancied himself a carpenter-- we have spent a boatload ripping out and patching over all his "handiwork." Our front door opens directly into the living room, so this is what you saw when you walked it.
We knew this cabinet was covering the original hearth bricks-- somebody at some point in the last 80 years decided to convert the central chimney into a closet, leaving all the remnants of the fireplace behind.
Wise, they were, those who came before us.
We headed out to dinner with friends on New Year's Eve-- gussied up, having a grand time, very happy to be out without offspring. And then, suddenly, half the people at the table became violently ill and we called it a night at 11 pm.
And so, instead of dragging around groggy and
hungover listless the next morning, we awoke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and raring for a challenge-- and decided a little home improvement was in order.
Cue this song for your listening enjoyment.
And after a little bit of hammer, a little bit of pry-bar, we had a whole lotta s#*t on our hands.
So that's what that cabinet was hiding.
I said some bad words.
(We knew there was something fireplace related back there before we began ripping things out-- we just thought it was less--scary. The original plan was to reveal the original firebox/hearth and rebuilt the mantle.
I called our trusty carpenter, who hurried right over and turned it into this:
(PS-- I have grown weary of those chairs. They are for sale. Lemme know if you want them.)
I chose the tile during what was probably the most stressful 24 hour period of my adult life, with children screaming at me all the while. In hindsight, I wish I'd gone with slate.
After 'while, I called Parra back and handed him this picture from LONNY.
(Hey! I need that rug, too!
And why did I get scared off by the hideous faux wood-grain technique on the exact table at a thrift store last week and pass on it? Dummy.)
And he handed me this:
Not bad, huh? We put in a ventless gas fireplace--I wasn't nuts about the idea to begin with, but I LOVE being able to push a button and start a fire in the winter. Many hours of snuggling have been done before it.
We created a small den/family room just off this room, with a wood-burning fireplace (which we never use because it is a flippin' lot of effort) and so we have the best of both worlds. Those chairs from yesterday's post would look totally fab on either side of it, right?
And that, my friends, is how NOT to renovate Your Old House.